USC Class of 2026 — Regular Decision

Well the WSJ/THE rankings that came out yesterday have USC at 20 :slight_smile:
UCLA at 27

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Interesting. And at least two out of the three ranked USC higher than UCLA :slight_smile:

But again… I put very little stock in overall rankings. Applicants need to dig deeper and identify their own personal preferences on a variety of surveyed or researched topics. And in person discovery is by far more preferable and accurate in terms of identifying what’s most important individually.

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Never used rankings in our evaluations. I work in PR and know how those things are bought, uh, I mean determined. :slight_smile: They can be helpful for some data points, but it’s better to use your own evaluation criteria, not rely on someone else for all of them.

A recent Daily Trojan article includes a couple of important statements from Tim Brunold - Dean of Admissions.

Brunold said the admissions office combs through thousands of applicants and pursues those who present an inclination to help achieve the University’s main objectives.

“We’re always trying to achieve in the admission process by bringing students to the University who will help the University in its mission, its strategic objectives and most importantly, we’re looking to bring students whom the faculty want to teach,” Brunold said.

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Registration is now open for Discover USC Open House. It is November 6 from 9 am - 4 pm on campus, in person.

Register here

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I found this mission statement but it seems rather general. Is there a better one somewhere else that is more concise? Is this how all missions statements are?

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What college/department are you applying into? Each should have their own mission/vision. For example, Viterbi’s mission is here. If you attend any of the admission info sessions (virtually or in person) you may find out more specifics about what the priorities of the college you are looking at.


Sometimes it takes a little searching to figure out what a school is looking for. For those interested in Viterbi, this video might help.

When we attended Explore USC in 2020, Viterbi stated that their mission was to engineer a better world for all humanity. And that they do that by:

  • a diverse student body
  • collaboration, teamwork
  • interdisciplinary education
  • cultivate a mindset of social consciousness
  • continuously add value
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Thank you. S22 is applying to Dornsife. I’ll have him take a look at their pages.

Dornslife Audacious Goal

He might pick up some insight here as well:
Dornslife YouTube 1
Dornslife You Tube 2

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USC Admission tweeted this:

Ever wondered what we’re actually looking at in your high school GPA? Does it even illustrate your high school preparation? Read about this in more in our most recent blog post, written by our assistant dean, Becky Chassin.

High School GPA - Undergraduate Admissions Blog


When thinking about essays, pay attention to the traits of a Trojan, not just a mission statement. Mission statements are always very broad, I wrote them for zillions of companies and they are always concise, but not very specific!


As stated above, the essays need to be very personalized. USC and its Schools within it are well aware of their various mission statements and are not simply looking for applicants who can discover those and parrot them back to Admissions within their essays.

USC is still seeking to craft a well-rounded and diverse freshman class comprised of those who actually have a strong affinity for or connection to USC. They do aim to admit those who they project will thrive well at USC and bring something unique to the campus environment.

So what about you is especially interesting or unique? What sets you apart? Maybe that is something needed on campus or that should be included within USC next freshman class. So use the admission process to demonstrate that. Let the readers of your essay(s) understand what USC may be gaining by admitting you specifically. And likewise… why USC for you? There are scores of elite colleges and universities that you could attend next fall. So why USC for you?

You should be able to provide a well-thought out and well-researched answer as to why attending USC is truly significant and important to you specifically. And moreover, USC does want to gain a sense as to what you will be uniquely contributing to the greater USC community if admitted.

Good Luck to all those applying this cycle…


Thanks for the help. This is really useful to think about as our kids craft their essays.

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Does USC give weightage to alumni? My daughter S22 will be applying to USC regular decision, son graduated from USC Marshall in 2019.

I don’t think it helps much. A lot of people on here last year with tons of legacy and great stats who didn’t get in.

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Being a USC legacy or SCion is a factor and considered, but it is not as helpful as it once was. Because of the huge number of applicants these days, USC is compelled to turn down around 90% of all legacy applicants. Many of those are then offered TTP as a way to transfer in later though.

Applying as a legacy and other factors being considered are addressed well in this excellent article…

An Insider’s Look at USC College Admissions • Trojan Family Magazine

Good Luck



Any information on how competitive admission into the Cinematic Arts School is for major in Media Arts and Practice. Is it better to apply with intended major of Communications?

Calling @WWWard for this one! I can address overall but he has more experience in this realm. But in short, it’s very competitive.